When was the last time you visited the second page of Google?
Hard to remember, right?
Well, you are not the only one — 75% of users don’t click past the first page of Google.
And the reason is pretty straightforward: a great majority of users find answers to their queries in the first SERP.
That’s why the first page of Google enjoys 95% of all search traffic — one of the many reasons billions of websites compete to rank on it.
But if that’s the case, how do you plan to stand out and reach the first page of Google?
It’s a tough question to answer. But, don’t worry. I have the solution for you.
In this article, I’ve listed 7 actionable ways to rank your website on the first page of Google and generate higher traffic.
Before You Start…
You need to check a few things on your website to increase its chances of ranking on Google’s first page.
Is Your Website Getting Indexed?
Check whether Google is indexing your website or not using the free Google Index Checker tool.
You can enter your website’s URL manually or upload a CSV file containing the complete URL list associated with your domain.
Once you’ve added/uploaded the URLs, click ‘Check Site Index’, and the tool will tell you the indexation status of each URL.
If the report flags certain URLs as ‘Not Indexed’, you need to get them indexed. Otherwise, no matter how result-driven your strategy is, your website won’t rank on the first page of Google.
Is Your Website Mobile-Friendly?
Mobile-friendliness is a crucial Google ranking factor that can impact your chances of ranking higher.
Open the Mobile-Friendly Test tool, enter your website URL, and check whether your website is responsive to mobile devices or not.
If you find that your website’s responsiveness needs help, you can go through our detailed guide on how to make a website mobile-friendly and implement necessary changes.
How Fast Is Your Website Loading?
Page loading speed is a crucial Google ranking factor. If your page takes more than 3 seconds to load, the bounce rate could increase by 123%, and you can forget about ranking on the first page of Google.
You can use Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool to check your website’s loading speed.
Just enter your website’s URL and get its page loading score.
The score is on a scale of 0 to 100. Here the reference ranges for you:
- 0 to 49 (red): Poor
- 50 to 89 (orange): Needs Improvement
- 90 to 100 (green): Good
Getting a score between 90 and 100 is acceptable; if it’s lower than that, your website needs attention and a couple of tweaks.
The page speed report lists the issues responsible for your page’s slow loading speed and suggests ways to fix them under ‘Opportunities‘ and ‘Diagnostics‘.
The tool also checks the loading speed of your website on mobile devices.
Apart from that, you can look at some of the best practices to help improve your page loading speed that we’ve been following, and they worked for us. Maybe they will work for you, too.
How Is Your Website’s SEO Health?
Conduct a final check of your website’s SEO health to identify and fix any on-page technical and non-technical issues.
For this, you can use Website Analyzer — it can track your website and create a detailed report with opportunities to improve your SEO.
After fixing all these issues and increasing your website’s potential to rank higher, let’s talk about how to rank your website on the first page of Google.
How To Rank Your Website On The First Page Of Google?
Target Easy-To-Rank Keywords Opportunities
Sometimes there are keywords you rank for that drive plenty of traffic to your website, but you don’t track or optimize them.
That is a BIG mistake because these keywords are low-hanging opportunities to get to the first page of Google.
So, here’s a simple way to find such easy-to-rank keyword opportunities:
Open RankWatch and click ‘Hidden Opportunity’ in the left pane.
It contains a complete list of keywords you are ranking for but don’t track. It also provides you their CPC and search volume.
After analyzing this data, you can select the keywords that are relevant to your website and can help you rank on the first page of Google.
Now all you have to do is optimize your content with these keywords.
Optimize Beyond The Short-Tail Keywords
If you want to rank on the first page of Google, then optimizing for short-tail keywords isn’t enough. You also have to optimize for long-tail keywords.
Wondering why? Let me tell you. Long-tail keywords are specific and generate higher conversion rates.
But, a lot of websites don’t target them because long-tail keywords have a low search volume.
If you are also one amongst them, start optimizing your content with long-tail keywords before it’s too late.
Here’s how you can find long-tail keywords: Use the RankWatch Keyword Research tool.
Enter your target keyword, and you’ll find a list of long-tail keywords with search volume, CPC, and competition.
Beyond long-tail keywords, you can also target question-based keywords.
Tip: A smart way to optimize for long-tail keywords is to choose the ones which contain the short-tail keyword. That way, you will optimize for both types of keywords.
For example, ‘how to create an online marketing strategy‘ is a long-tail keyword, which also includes ‘online marketing’ — the primary keyword.
Focus On The User’s Search Intent
Websites ranking on the first page of Google usually reflect the searcher’s intent. So, you must make sure your content does the same.
One of the easiest ways of identifying a searcher’s intent is through Google’s ‘People also ask’ and ‘Related searches’ sections.
These sections can be your inspiration for creating intent-centric content that people would like to read.
But, what type of content would that be — a blog, video, infographic, or what?
Don’t worry. It’s not that difficult to find either.
The process is still the same: you Google your target keyword. However, this time you don’t look at the keywords. You look at the results.
For the keyword ‘Online marketing strategy’, most websites published listicles. So, to increase your chances of ranking on the first page of Google, that’s the content type you must focus on creating.
Similarly, if the ranked content type for your target keyword is majorly videos, you’ll have to focus on creating videos.
Publish More High-Quality Content
If you publish more content, you have more opportunities of ranking on the first page of Google. It’s not rocket science.
However, publishing more content doesn’t mean it is low quality and provides hardly any value to the reader.
To rank on the first page of Google, your content must be 10x better than the top-ranking pages.
How do you do that?
Research the top 10 ranking pages for your target keyword (you can go beyond them if you like), identify the information gaps and create a content piece, which provides more information, covers the topic in detail, and contains good examples with relevant images.
Optimize Your Content For Featured Snippets
What’s better than ranking #1 on Google? It’s ranking 0.
Yes, it’s true. There’s a position above #1 on Google. And it has a CTR of 35%.
These ‘Position Zero’ are called featured snippets.
That’s one type of featured snippet. (Want to know about the other types? Read my other guide on different types of featured snippets).
Before optimizing for featured snippets, find out the ones you already have.
Go to: RankWatch Ranking Overview > Rankings > Ranking Snippets.
Now, scroll down, and you’ll find your URLs that rank in position 0 (with keywords).
Once you’ve checked your keywords ranking in the featured snippets, it’s time to optimize for them. And here’s how you can do it:
- Usually, featured snippets rank for question-based keywords, such as what, where, when, who, why, can, how, and more. So, make sure that your content is optimized for them. You can find them in RankWatch’s Keyword Research tool.
- When you target a question-based keyword, provide the answer immediately within 54 to 58 words. For example, if the keyword is “What is online marketing?”, define it in approximately 58 words.
- You can create an FAQ section on your website or blog to increase your chances of getting a featured snippet.
These are the primary tactics to rank for a featured snippet apart from using quality images, backlinks, and more.
Once you acquire a featured snippet, you get right to the first page of Google.
Create A Robust Backlink Strategy
Backlinks are one of the most crucial ranking factors representing credibility and authority.
And if you want to rank on the first page of Google, you need a robust backlink strategy in place.
Here are two widely popular ways to build backlinks:
Reach Out To Your Competitor’s Referring Domains
Enter your competitor’s URL in the RankWatch Link Explorer tool.
You will have a complete list of your competitor’s referring domains and backlinks.
Now, reach out to them via email seeking guest post opportunities.
Tip: You can use free tools like Hunter.io to extract email addresses.
Link Your New Content To High-Authority Pages
When you build backlinks, you monitor the performance of each page — traffic, authority, and more.
Now, whenever you build new pages, link them to these high authority ones for quicker discoverability and authority boost of the new page.
Not just that, you can follow this detailed guide of creative link building strategies (with examples) to create high quality backlinks for your website.
Work Smarter, Not Harder — Use SEO IQ
I was saving the best for the last — SEO IQ.
Consider it that last slice of pizza with an unforgettable taste.
SEO IQ is your one-stop solution to rank on the first page of Google. You must be wondering why I didn’t talk about competitive intelligence, content length, or on-page SEO.
Well, because this feature does all that for you and more.
SEO IQ evaluates the impact of your target keyword’s landing page in response to its top SERP competitors after analyzing 40+ on-page parameters.
Here’s how you can use it:
- Open SEO IQ free tool.
- Enter your target keyword, URL, and target location.
Based on your top-ranking competitors, SEO IQ tells you the EXACT improvement ideas (related to keywords, on-page factors, page speed, featured snippets, and more) and content recommendations (related to keyword density, word count, and more) to rank higher on Google.
And that’s just scratching the surface. There’s a lot more to what SEO IQ can do to help you rank on the first page of Google and sustain that position.
SEO isn’t an overnight success (especially when you are hoping to rank on the first page of Google).
It takes time, and you’ll have to be patient. Also, remember don’t expect these strategies to perform optimally forever. If you want them to succeed, you need to continue measuring, analyzing, and improving them with the changing trends and Google updates — that’s very important.
Do you think I missed any other important strategy? Do let me know in the comments below.
Share Your Thoughts